Spring Break day 6 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Grotto Falls and Brushy Mountain

Brushy Mountain - Smoky Mountains Natl. Park - TN Travel Blog

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Me behind Grotto Falls

Another day in the Smokies! Siglinde joined me once again for another hike to the Grotto Falls and Brushy Mountain. In order to get there we had to briefly go through Gatlinburg, the closest village to the park. We were both simply shocked about the huge tourist trap content this village has to offer. Horrible!

But as soon as we crossed the protective borders back into the park we felt the rest and quietness of the Smokies again. Our trailhead was located along the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, a one-way road the takes cars deep into the wild forest and along some nice waterfalls and abandoned farm structures. It looked so crowded that we parked at the first parking spot that we could find. This turned out to be 2.5 km (1.6 miles) away from the trailhead, treating us with a steady climb 140-meter (460-ft) climb, but also with another bear sighting.

Falls next to Jim Bales' Place

Our in-between goal was Grotto Falls, with final goal the summit of Brushy Mountain. With a drop of 7.5 meters (25 ft) Grotto Falls is not a smashing fall, its specialty however is the fact that the trail leads behind the water curtain. Like yesterday's Abrams Falls, Grotto Falls is a public's favorite, so the huge crowds with coolers and pick nick gear were once again abundantly present.

We quickly headed on, steadily ascending to an elevation of 1490 meters (4889 ft), a total ascent of about 610 meters (2000 ft). Near the summit the trail got a similar shape as the Graggy Gardens that I visited two days ago, see here. It was once again like walking in a tunnel surrounded by rhododendron bushes, stems, and flowers making way for some dramatic views at the summit. No circuit trip today, we had to go down the way we came up, finding Grotto Falls a lot quieter.

Back at the car we continued on the Roaring Fork Motor Trail which gave us some more abandoned structures and a beautiful waterfall.

More pictures below!

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Me behind Grotto Falls
Me behind Grotto Falls
Falls next to Jim Bales Place
Falls next to Jim Bales' Place
Somewhere during the hike
Somewhere during the hike
Somewhere during the hike
Somewhere during the hike
Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls
On our way to the summit of Brushy…
On our way to the summit of Brush…
View from summit of Brushy Mountain
View from summit of Brushy Mountain
View from summit of Brushy Mountain
View from summit of Brushy Mountain
View from summit of Brushy Mountain
View from summit of Brushy Mountain
The rhododendron trail, near the s…
The rhododendron trail, near the …
The rhododendron trail, near the s…
The rhododendron trail, near the …
Grotto Falls
Grotto Falls
Jim Bales Place
Jim Bales' Place
Jim Bales Place
Jim Bales' Place
Falls next to Jim Bales Place
Falls next to Jim Bales' Place
Ephraim Bales House
Ephraim Bales' House
GPS Height profile of the hike
GPS Height profile of the hike
GPS profile of the hike (rendered …
GPS profile of the hike (rendered…
457,535 km (284,299 miles) traveled
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Brushy Mountain - Smoky Mountains Natl. Park - TN
photo by: mdalamers